The Shutdown for Seniors

With a government shutdown almost inevitably beginning tomorrow morning, you might be wondering, What does it mean for me?

Details are still not set in stone, but after doing some strategic Googling, we’ve come up with a quick guide.




Social Security If you already receive Social Security benefits, your payments won’t be affected. You can also apply for benefits; however, there could be delays in processing new claims.

Medicare As with Social Security, you should see no changes if you already are on Medicare. Cuts could cause delays in new enrollments. Medicaid will not be affected

Military veterans There may be delays in processing of benefits; service cuts could also have some effects.

WIC If you’re helping to raise a baby, you could be hit hard: WIC will be out of funds, according to the Washington Post; however individual states might be able to step in.

Food stamps will not be affected


Health & Safety


Clinical trials The National Institutes for Health with stop enrolling participants in clinical trials, which will delay the start of new trials.

Flu program and disease hotlines The National Institutes for Health will not be able to fund the annual flu programs or hotlines during a shutdown.

Outbreak alerts  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which monitors foodborne illnesses and other outbreaks, may limit surveillance. (Stay away from the those alfalfa sprouts!)

ACL will not be able to fund the Senior Nutrition programs or Prevention of Elder Abuse and Neglect, according to the HSS contingency plan.

“Obamacare” The rollout of state-run exchanges on Tuesday will not be affected, according to an official at the Health and Human Services Department.


Travel and Leisure


Air traffic controllers will be working, so no worries – as long as you have a passport…

Passport applications will be processed during a shutdown until the money runs out – which could be soon; same goes for visas required by foreigners traveling to the US.

National parks, monuments and zoos operated by the National Parks Service will be closed to the public. If you’re currently staying in a National Park, you’ll have two days to leave.

The Smithsonian and its branches, including the National Museum of the American Indian in NYC, will close




IRS Call Center operations are likely to stop. If you call with a question, you might find that nobody picks up.

Your tax refund could be delayed and audit will be put on hold, but the IRS is still processing late returns.

Bankruptcy cases will be delayed.

Mortgage approvals could also be delayed.

The Post Office will be open for business as usual.

Your paycheck If you’re a federal worker or one who works for a federal contractor, there’s a good chance you’ll be staying home for a while or working without a paycheck – but if you fall into that category, we’re guessing you know as much as we do. Keep us posted in the comments below.

Looking for more info? The Washington Post takes a comprehensive look, department by department, at who will or will not have to take time off work or work for no pay, as well as whose services will be cut. Click to access the chart on the Washington Post.



6 responses to “The Shutdown for Seniors

  1. This shutdown does not make any sense to me. Why is congress still getting paid, while other government workers have to suffer?Congress is not entitled to get paid under these circumstances.
    This shutdown is not right and congress is wrong in all aspects, why should people have to suffer because they want to hurt the President. They can’t let their prejudices get in the way the government is run. President Obama is trying to do what he promised the people of the US. He can not do the job because congress goes against everything he presents to them.
    It is time to place all the hatred and prejudice aside and everyone come together as a nation.

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